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The cycle of parliamentary debate opens today around the issues that emerged in the most painful way and resulted in the death of 57 people.

Watch the debate live in the Parliament:

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Starting his presentation, the Minister of State, Giorgos Gerapetritis, repeated his condolences to the families of the victims and continued saying that this field is not amenable to political confrontation, as this would be an insult to the memory of the dead. I will try to objectively present the facts, I will not make any offsets.

The investigation that has been started will go to the end, that is the intention of the government. It will proceed rapidly, as will the committee of experts, who I estimate will be able to present a finding on the causes of the tragedy within a month from today.

-The administrations have changed, an international competition will be announced next week.

-Although the remote control was in full operation in the section and it was mandatory to plot the route electronically, it was done manually, it did not follow the course of the train, and there was no information from the train that it was outside the normal line. However, no human error can hide imperfections and be an alibi for misdemeanors, delays and mistakes. Debt to capture them. There was an assumption of responsibility from the first moment. I apologized too, but that cannot restore what happened, the unthinkable. after the event, the mass disaster protocol was activated to coordinate all structures and it worked to the level that conditions allowed.

I will highlight two dimensions:

-The personnel issue

– The issue of infrastructure.

As far as the first one is concerned, there was indeed a gradual deforestation of the staff. Either no recruitments were made or very few were made. We have tried to cure it either through mobility, through service delivery (there was good, but not sufficient, staffing) about 200 people were hired with a “block”, these contracts are extended. And on a third level which is permanent recruitment. The first competition for 90 people, there was a process through ASEP, approximately 10,500 applications were submitted, it is now in OSE, the process will be completed soon. From the same list there will be recruitment of the new 2023 recruitment opportunity. A total of 217 people (will be hired) in the next period.

-The training program for the critical positions, primarily the station masters, is training approved by RAS, with 712 hours of training, 6.5 months, a mixture of theoretical and applied training. Theory and in the field and before the completion of a rigorous examination stage. We also had an unsuccessful course of candidates. It is a program that basically provides a guarantee for a substantial evaluation of the critical personnel of the OSE.

– The issue of upgrading the infrastructure has a long and not easy history. The contract signed in 2014 for the upgrade, includes a total upgrade of all traffic lights at 52 stations and remote control and retrofitting of 3 stations.